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Starting the Year with Thanksgiving

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”1

How will you start this New Year? Many people make resolutions or set goals to give them motivation, but personally, I prefer to start habits throughout the year instead of setting resolutions. However, if there is one resolution I would make, it would be to be thankful.

Looking back on the past year it may be easy to remember all the difficulties or disappointments we experienced. It may be tempting to want to close that book and never look back! While I am sure that there were hardships for all of us at some point, I would encourage you to reflect on being thankful.

Psalm 100 encourages us to enter his gates with thanksgiving and to praise his name. Not because our circumstances are, or were, good, but because the Lord is good, and his love endures forever! If you can’t think of what to be thankful for, then start with being thankful for your home, running water, food on the table, your car, the air you breathe, and your family. The more you practice voicing the things for which you are thankful, the easier it will be to recognize God’s provision in our lives. Thanking God for sending His Son, Jesus, to die in our place is something we can be thankful for every day!

Thanking God for his faithfulness, provision, and presence in our lives changes the way we perceive Him and how we view our circumstances. When we are praising God, it is impossible to sit in our negativity, even when things get tough. When we are thanking God, our focus shifts from our present circumstances to His greatness. This is when we realize that no problem is too big for our God!

Let gratitude be our New Year’s resolution. Make a note in your phone of things you are thankful for throughout the day, start a gratitude journal, create a family time of gratitude at dinner each evening. Start with one thing each day and see how your list grows as the days go on, and how your life changes for the better!

Suggested prayer: Dear God, thank you for your constant provision in my life. Thank you for the good times and hard times this past year, because I know you were working it all for my good. Keep my eyes on you always. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

1.    Psalms 100:4-5 (NIV).


Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.